Kelsey Klim and Kollin Chupa of K Squared know something about the entertainment and event industry.
If you don’t know their names, you know their work. Before K Squared, they were known as the one-two punch for entertainment marketing in the area, having worked with just about every live act to come to Youngstown for the last 10 years.
From the Covelli Centre to Packard Music Hall to JAC Live, Klim and Chupa have worked with global and local companies, world-class entertainers like Elton John and Rod Stewart, and well-known shows like Disney On Ice and Cirque du Soleil.
On a personal note, Klim and Chupa were part of my first class at YSU.
As most teachers will tell you, keeping an eye on the growth of former students after graduation is akin to watching your own kids grow up.
I interviewed the dynamic duo about K Squared and their recent partnership with DOYO Live, Youngstown’s digital marketing and interactive design conference.
DOYO returns for its third year, August 1-2, 2018, in its new location: the DeYor Performing Arts Center.
As graduates of our communication studies program, it’s clear that the twins learned how to leverage their skills and experiences with Eric Ryan Productions into face-paced, versatile careers.
It’s also clear they’re determined to fix a problem they see in their industry: marketing jargon and “big business” practices have replaced personal attention, which ultimately leaves some clients feeling unsatisfied.
K Squared wants to fix that problem.
Q: You didn't take the typical path through college to learn about marketing. How did a communication degree prepare you for this career?
A: We truly believe that the best approach to anything is to approach it from a holistic view. It’s a concept we’ve carried into our own business model. It wasn’t enough for us to sit in a classroom and learn about theories. We wanted a tangible way to put those theories into practice.
We discovered that we had the resources accessible to us within our community and campus. We just had to look. At YSU, Campus Recreation and Student Programming had merged into a new department, and it was there that we discovered a passion for live events, event marketing, sponsorships, and corporate sales.
We also met our former boss Eric Ryan during this time frame, which led to our eventual careers at the JAC Management Group. Suddenly all of the communication classroom lessons started to make sense in a much deeper way.
Q: You've networked with a lot of names in the entertainment industry. How has that network helped you launch K Squared?
A: Our previous experiences have absolutely paved the way for the foundation of K Squared. Not only did we gain a versatile skill set, we built many relationships that have extended into the launch of K Squared.
Q: What are the advantages to having your business in Youngstown?
A: The absolute best advantages to having our business in Youngstown, or any business for that matter, are the relationships. We are fortunate to live and work in a community where relationships still hold a very strong value and almost serve as a type of currency in a lot of circumstances.
It could be a double-edge sword, but we’ve found that many clients and people within our network still have a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and recognize and support that same spirit in others.
Q: I loved your FB Live session with Dennis (Schiraldi) for DOYO Live. Looks like you’re going to be pretty involved when DOYO returns this year in August. What are you looking forward to most about the 2018 Conference?
A: First of all, we are thankful for the partnership and sense of collaboration and community Dennis has cultivated within the business and marketing community.
We’ve founded our business model on the mantra of “collaboration breeds creativity”, so it was a natural fit when we began working with Dennis on event and corporate sponsorships.
We’re excited to inject our knowledge of sponsorships into this year’s conference because it marries a lot of our passions and business foundations: events, sponsorship, and marketing.
Above all else, we’re excited that the conference has grown each year and even more excited to be part of that growth this year.
To learn more about K Squared, check out http://www.ksquared.marketing and look for them on Facebook.
For more on DOYO Live, including dates, tickets and schedule of speaker, check out http://www.doyolive.com. You’ll also find some great links to live video on DOYO’s Facebook page.
~ Dr. Adam Earnheardt is chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn and on his blog at www.adamearn.com.